Autumn 2001
Volume 1, Number 2

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Thumbelina
Beneath the rosy shade
of a dogwood in fall bloom
I awake, curled in your palm.
Light filters through the single leaf
you hold above me. Together we
examine its mottled surface: you see
the downy, opaque, underside.
I see ribs drawn dark
like spokes of an umbrella
against luminescent flesh,
shielding me from the revelation of your face,
creased valleys on either side
of your mouth, shaded hollows
beneath your lashes,
the liquid glassy surface
of your eyes reflecting a tiny girl-shaped
speck of light.
—Ann Hostetler, Goshen, Indiana, is Associate Professor of English, Goshen College

First printed in The Aurorean and forthcoming in Empty Room with Light, DreamSeeker Books, 2002. Published here by permission of author and future publisher, all rights reserved.

Apparition
It’s early morning before work
and I’m chasing my toddler
across the unraked yard when all of a sudden
my father’s canvas-covered shoulders appear to rise
from amidst the scattered leaves.
He looms statuesque in the midst of the lawn
like Hamlet’s ghost, brown wool hat
shading his eyes and beak-like nose.
I didn’t seen him coming and now
for a few inscrutable moments
the river of years between us carves
a ravine so deep I fear
he has already moved on over to the other side.
I forget he was born to this season
when yellow leaves or few or none do hang
upon those boughs . . .
that every year since
I saw him blow out forty shining candles on a chocolate cake
I have breathed an autumn prayer against his loss.
Yet he has watched over me
for forty years since.
His shoulder is warm beneath my palm
and a slow grin cracks his face as
his youthful miniature tugs his pant leg,
pulling him towards the house they are building
next door, telling Opa all about men hammering
and pouring concrete.
—Ann Hostetler

In honor of John A. Hostetler, 1918-2001. Forthcoming in Empty Room with Light, DreamSeeker Books, 2002. Publishedhere by permission of author and future publisher, all rights reserved.

       

Copyright 2001 by Pandora Press U.S.
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